Has a child ever asked you “why” repeatedly? It goes like this. They ask you a question. When you respond, they ask, “why”. This cycle repeats multiple times. The curiosity of a child can be bottomless. If you play their game, it leads you to an interesting conclusion. It gets you to the root of the initial question.
Try this with yourself right now. Say aloud, “I want to be fit”, “I need to do cardio” or ”I’m going to eat healthier this week”. Then ask, “why”. Keep it going for as long as you can. You can use two different voices if you want! Have some fun with it.
I should go to the gym. — Why?Because I want to get stronger. — Why?
I’d like to hike 10 miles. — Why?
My friends do this every month and I want to join. — Why?
I enjoy their company and there is an amazing waterfall.
Eventually, you get to a deeper reason behind your initial statement. If the final “why” you come to isn’t exciting enough or it happens even if you skip going to the gym, then it’s not going to work. If that same example landed up with the person wanting to beat their friends to the waterfall in a race, that might be a more compelling reason to get stronger and go to the gym. It all depends on you.
Wants are Why’s
A WHY is usually a deeper WANT. As you saw in the example, going to the gym really came down to having company and seeing waterfalls (for that person). This might not be motivating enough to commit to going to the gym. After all, a person can likely hike to a waterfall without going to the gym. Because it’s a 10 mile hike, they might need to train – but might not. Each situation and person is different, which is why YOU are the best person to explore your reasoning for exercise.
If your deeper want (why) for being fit is compelling enough to warrant a trip to the gym several times a week, then you have a winning reason. Sometimes the “why” is related to physical outcomes such as weight loss, strength gains or flexibility. Other times the “why” is mental or emotional, involving elevated mood or better sleep.
The person from the example could still use their deeper “why” for motivation. They could partner with a hiking friend for “waterfall workouts”. Hanging a group photo on the fridge of the last hike did together can also act as a trigger to stimulate feel-good vibes about getting to the gym. The same way you are susceptible to wanting a hamburger after seeing someone else eating one at the mall, you are potentially susceptible to the waterfall trigger – if it’s juicy enough to you.
Take yourself on the journey of “why” and see where it leads you. Share what you find below in the comments, we would love to hear from you!